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An Unquiet Life, Part I

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An Unquiet Life, Part I


Publication date 1987
Guest: Hook, Sidney
Theme: Books

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Reviewer: Robert B. Livingston - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 17, 2005
Subject: Conversation with Pragmatic Humanist, Sidney Hook
This wide-ranging conversion (to be continued in a second part) exhibits why the thoughts of philosopher Sidney Hook cannot be easily catagorized.

Having been a Marxist in youth, his pursuit of truth based on reason and the principles of the Scientific Method led him to oppose all who stifled debate and democratic discourse-- even though it alienated him from many of his contemporaries. In this program he describes himself as a social democrat.

In this first part, the octogenarian philosopher recalls his opposition to U.S. involvement in the first World War, his hopes and disillusionment with the Russian Revolution, and his puzzlement that at career's end he would be identified as a conservative and not as an upholder of the Jeffersonian Liberal Democratic tradition.

Hook concludes this segment by contrasting his radical youth to radicals of the Vietnam and post-Vietnam War era. He laments what he views as an increasing politicization of University campuses and the stifling of free speech.

Some topics touched upon:

Ernest Nagel
John Dewey
George Santayana
Norman Thomas
Franklin Roosevelt
Jackie Robinson
World War One
World War Two
Vietnam War
welfare state
affirmative action
discrimination
doctrine of judicial restraint
communism
socialism
totalitarian despotism
conservatism
liberalism
democracy
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